TARGETjobs black logo
Doctor taking blood pressure

No medical degree? No problem! A graduate medical degree is the cure

No medical degree but you want to become a doctor? Get advice on how to get onto a graduate medical degree and find out about the entrance exams (UCAT, BMAT and GAMSAT).

The graduate medical degree was introduced to combat the shortage of doctors and to give those who didn't opt for a first degree in medicine the chance to become a doctor. The course covers the same information as an undergraduate medical degree but there is a difference in the way it is taught.

Qualifications and skills needed

To apply for the fast-track medical degree, some courses require a 2.1 or a first in a biological science degree. Others offer places to those in a non-science degree, although they may have other requirements for these candidates (such as science A levels at certain grades). Relevant work experience may also be expected.

In addition to the right class of degree, some universities will require you to sit an entrance exam. There are three types of entrance exam: the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test), the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) and the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test), used by seven medical schools.

These exams test problem solving, data analysis, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, the GAMSAT examines reasoning in biological and physical sciences. Candidates would need to study science independently in order to do well in this section.

Through your personal statement and during your interview, you should also show admissions tutors your awareness of the qualities required to be a good doctor. These are:

  • good intellectual ability, problem solving and critical skills with an understanding of lifelong learning
  • honesty, integrity and conscientiousness
  • helpfulness and a willingness to co-operate
  • interpersonal skills, empathy, reflectiveness and an awareness of your own limitations
  • ability to deal with stress
  • attitudes necessary for good medical practice and patient care, such as not being judgmental, cultural awareness and sensitivity to life-cycle stages.

Advice for prospective candidates

Applicants over the age of 35 need to seriously consider the implications of embarking on such a demanding career. It takes a minimum of nine to ten years to complete training in any specialty and some specialties may be reluctant to allow a late starter to begin specialist training.

Even if you have a scientific background, you should study hard for the entrance exam and not take your knowledge for granted – in the GAMSAT, non-science graduates often do better because they put more effort into revising for it.

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Top